DressingWell

I want to recommend the Virtual Consulting services of Organization by Design at http://www.dressingwell.com.

Circa 2005 I bought the Mary Lou Andre book Ready-to-Wear about choosing and using your wardrobe.

For an initial $300, you can hire the services of an image consultant to talk with you via telephone. You e-mail her as an attachment up to 10 photos of yourself wearing outfits. She analyzes how you can improve and talks to you in a half-hour telephone consultation. Then she e-mails you hyperlinks to products you can buy online.

Going on, you can enlist the consultant for $75/per half-hour telephone talk.

I’m telling readers about this in here because it’s the perfect solution for anyone that wants to create a professional wardrobe for going on job interviews, or to assemble clothes you can wear on dates, or to discover the items that fit and flatter your body and your style, for whatever occasion you’d like help with.

I’ve used this service at least 3 times since I had the original first-time consultation.

It’s well worth the money. The way I see it: some people spend money on cigarettes or street drugs or alcohol. Instead of doing that (hardly advisable) you can splurge on the Virtual Consulting service.

The consultant can also tell you your body shape and your face shape to advise on the most flattering eyeglasses or hem lengths for jackets and pants and skirts.

If you love fashion, you might just get hooked on this service.

No kidding: it’s well worth trying out. The Virtual Consulting option is also available for men.

There you go.

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Ethics – Part Two

I make the case for acting ethical in your dealings with other people.

Acting trashy isn’t the way to get ahead. The world doesn’t need another person pretending to be someone he or she is not just to be taken seriously and fit in.

The Left of the Dial philosophy that I’ve created and champion I’ll talk more about in the Left of the Dial page on this site.

Here, I’ll tell readers that you’re in the driver’s seat on the road to you. Have the courage of your convictions. Don’t give up the fight. You and only you hold the keys to unlocking a better life for yourself.

Research with diligence the options you’re presented with in your recovery. Research, research, research these options. Understand that the choice should be yours and your treatment providers should consult with you before creating any kind of “treatment plan” for you to follow.

In my experience, attending a traditional day program or longer-term program isn’t the way to go for young adults. The goal is to be resilient: to quickly get back into the mainstream and go to school or find a job.

I will be writing about “Recovery 2014” at HealthCentral for Mental Illness Awareness Week. In this news article, I will make the case for acting as your own advocate to obtain the right treatment for your needs at this time in your recovery.

I do think it’s unconscionable if not unethical for mental health staff to stigmatize the very individuals they’re supposed to treat.

I use humor in Left of the Dial to spoof what went on in the day program I attended.

You have everything you need right inside yourself to succeed. Everyone holds the keys to their own happiness.

Each of us will come in contact with unethical people in our lives.

We need to hold them accountable and not let them off the hook.

I was lucky I got the right treatment, right away.

I’ll talk next about how I challenged a provider that was not ethical. Stay tuned.

Ethics

I’m going to insert in Flourish a sentence or two about ethics.

I do not think I was a special person. This is not why I succeeded. I wasn’t special. I credit my recovery and my life to my parents’ quick action to get me help within 24 hours of my break.

I discounted my role in my success until a guy suggested I was talented not only in writing: I was talented because I had a work ethic: I was willing to work longer and harder to get what I wanted.

That’s it in a nutshell. I had the experience recently of seeing a lazy-ass worker in action. He was so slow and lazy I thought there was something wrong with him. I thought he had some kind of mental defect. He was so slow and lazy I recommended to his supervisor that she replace him and hire someone else.

No kidding. You want to succeed in life and you want to succeed at work: have a hard work ethic.

No one is going to give things to you. If you’re fortunate in that everything comes easy to you, or that other people give you things, you’re most likely not in the target market for my book(s).

Acting self-reliant is a critical skill to have in recovery. You’re responsible for taking action every day in the direction of your dream(s). The hardest-won victory is the sweetest.

Nevermind when you see management rewarding unethical behavior. Keep your nose in front of you (not stuck up in the air or stuck in other people’s business.)

Keep your eye on the prize(s) of your life and it will hardly be an effort to take action in the direction of your goals.

Hard work. That’s the ticket to success.

Your Ace In The Hole

Easily 15 years ago or 20 years ago I read a book where the author stated you need to have an “ace in the hole.”

An ace in the hole is a steady income stream apart from your day job or regular job. Having this kind of job puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to being in charge of the direction of your life.

Why spend 2 or 3 hours each night watching TV when you could be doing something that earns you income? What if having a second job were like earning money while you sleep?

Wouldn’t this be much better than watching TV all the time?

I recommend people diagnosed with mental illnesses have an ace in the hole so that it doesn’t matter what happens in the workforce: be your own boss and the stigma is irrelevant.

The goal is first of all to find the work you love so that it’s more like passion not drudgery.

I recommend the book The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine for “Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One.” An illuminating guide about how to do what you love without having your soul sucked out of you at any old “day job.”

This is a radical idea: that individuals with MIs should not only get a job if they want to work: we should find the job we love and have more than one job to secure our future if we’d like.

It comes down to this:

We’re in the driver’s seat. We can go down a road of our own choosing. We don’t have to take a backseat to others in society.

Capisce?

Career MatchMaker

I want to talk about a database that can help people pinpoint their Top 40 careers: CareerCruising.

You can use it with your Brooklyn Public Library library card at http://www.bklynlibrary.org by clicking on the articles and databases link on the left then searching on CareerCruising.

First: create a profile and sign up. Then take the Career MatchMaker quiz and save every quiz results sheet under a different name.

If you do not live in New York State you can get a Bklyn library card by signing up and paying $50/per year. Or you might see if your own library system offers this database or a similar one.

A free career match test you can take is at http://www.mynextmove.org on the Internet. I prefer the CareerMatchMaker. The careers I scored high on were career counselor, writer, motivational speaker, activist, and librarian. The quiz is eerily accurate.

It can save you from making the mistake of trying to fit yourself into a career that doesn’t suit you. The earlier you take the quiz the easier it will hopefully be to discover the work you’ll love to do and be good at.

In the next Flourish entry I will talk about the secret solution to stigma in the workplace.

Weight Loss Magic

From the time I was 23 until I turned 29 I was 20 lb. overweight.

It took me six years to lose 20 lb. and then in my early forties I gained 10 lb. back.

The earlier you start to train, the quicker you’ll see improvements in your life.

I did step aerobics and pounding the treadmill in my twenties. I did Zumba in my early forties.

You can lose weight and keep it off when you set weekly, 3-week and 3-month goals. At the end of the year you can assess where you’re at and if you need to change what you do.

I committed to changing one behavior at a time. First, I started drinking skim milk instead of regular milk. Then I ate chicken without the skin. Next, I stopped eating meat.

To this day I don’t eat beef, lamb, veal or pork. AT ALL. I rarely eat chicken and turkey. I mostly eat seafood and vegetables and pasta. During Greenmarket season June through November I buy and cook fresh seasonal organic produce.

I say: start to strength train earlier in your life. At 40, a woman needs to reduce what she eats and strength train to keep off the weight.

I started to lift when I was 45 going into 46. I was able to shape my self: “Make Yourself” as the Nike advertisement proclaims.

It would tick me off to think most people think healthful food doesn’t taste good. I don’t think meat tastes good. I don’t think processed food tastes good either.

I haven’t had a hot dog since 1992. I read the ingredients label of a hot dog package and found out it’s 100 calories and 90 fat calories. You do the math: does this sound healthy?

I haven’t had a soda since 1987. As kids, we used to drink C&C cola. Remember that? It was cheaper than Coke or Pepsi.

My philosophy of life is rooted in science and kindness as the twin engines of healing.

You can heal your life. You can have a fit body and a strong mind. It involves being kind to yourself and others. I’m not a fan of any kind of “garbage in, garbage out” lifestyle.

What you eat impacts how you feel. I submit that eating healthful foods can bring a smile to your face.

Cooking well is an act of kindness. Sharing a meal is one of the enduring joys in life.

People who take atypicals have lost 20, 30, 50 lb. and kept it off. I will try to interview one of them to share his secrets for weight loss too.

I’ll end here by stating that weight loss isn’t quick and it isn’t easy.

The rewards are lasting.

Appetite For Life

I might be Italian yet I eat to live not live to eat.

There’s a difference: food can fuel your body and give you energy and stamina. Or it can make you sluggish and lethargic.

Cooking is one of the joys of life that makes the difference between health and hardship.

I wanted to talk about this again because I devote information about it in my book.

How you eat and what you eat does change your body. I got into a fight with a friend because I told him to “can the cans” and not drink diet sodas. Drinking diet sodas or any kind of cola or soda or soft drink is linked to obesity.

I suggest you can the cans too. Have water flavored with a slice of lemon. Most drinks and sports drinks are full of sugar or “natural flavors.” Natural flavors are actually fake chemicals labeled “natural flavors.” It’s a marketing tool.

The best way to change is to change one thing at time. I recommend starting by nixing any kind of drinks.

It’s the plain truth that you deserve to be healthy rather than making agribusinesses and biotech firms rich. They don’t care that upwards of $71 Billion of healthcare costs in America are linked to obesity and diet. They’re getting rich and we’re getting sick.

It’s prime time right now to shop at farmers’ markets and buy fruits and vegetables that are in season.

You can go on the LocalHarvest website to find a Greenmarket near you. It’s http://www.localharvest.org. Without a farmers’ market you can shop in WholeFoods if there’s one near you.

In New York City: FreshDirect delivers groceries and household supplies to your door. Log on to http://www.freshdirect.com to sign up. The great thing about FreshDirect is that it delivers CSA boxes to your door: community-supported agriculture boxes where you can buy produce from a local farm.

Instead of traveling to a meeting place, schlepping home boxes of fruits and vegetables from a CSA, and having to spend hefty fees for a summer-long share: voila: you can get a CSA box delivered to your door without the cost of car service to take the box home from the meeting place.

I’m a big fan of buying and eating organic food mostly. Spaghetti squash is in season and is easy to cook too.

I will write this week in the reviews section a review of the book Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop. I’ve created numerous recipes from the book that are tasty and nutritious.

In evolutionary terms: it makes no sense to eat meat anymore. Having chicken or turkey occasionally is something I do though. Any kind of extreme diet might not be healthful.

Mostly, I’m opposed to factory farming of beef because of its impact on the environment.

I think eating mostly fruits and vegetables is the way to go now. Though I couldn’t judge other people because I do eat seafood. It’s a choice, and everyone has the right to choose.

I have an enduring interest in health and fitness because I’ve seen the positive effects of diet and exercise on mood, confidence and well-being. It can’t be a coincidence that the two are linked.

On Thursday I will talk about my own experiences losing weight. I used to be 20 lb. overweight as a young woman.

I’ll end here because I want to post the book review.